Whether it is hiking, car-camping, primitive, RV or living it up by glamping, there is an entire market of products made for whatever type of camping you prefer. Most campers have the essentials—tent, sleeping bag, lantern, cook stove and camp chair but there are a lot of camping gadgets out there that most campers won’t spend their money on. Sticking to a budget is on every camper’s mind and laying down wads of cash for gear that isn’t necessary isn’t high on the priority list. Yet, there is a ton of cool camping gear that will heighten the camping experience. For those wanting to give the avid camper in their life an amazing present they will love, gift them something they wouldn’t buy for themselves but would use on every camping trip. These gadgets range from incredibly useful to fun and even opulent for a variety of budgets.
For the serious hiker, lightweight, multi-functional and high-quality gear is essential for safety and comfort. A lot of gear is very personal, like a good pair of hiking shoes and the best backpack, but other gear—based on reviews and reputation—can be bought by others and confidently given to a loved one who is an avid hiker.
Part of preventing typical hiking injuries is carrying the proper gear and keeping your pack’s weight down and that means sacrificing certain things. However, foregoing a first aid kit just to save a few ounces can be a fatal mistake. A first aid kit is an imperative piece of gear for any outdoor adventure. What is the minimum amount of first aid supplies you should carry for hiking? Moleskin, bandages, tape, scissors, tweezers, alcohol wipes, medicine and gauze are the least amount you should carry for typical hiking injuries. Our Best in Bunch editors found this one from 12 Survivors, which has everything a hiker needs, plus room to add more. It weighs only 11.3 ounces and will treat typical hiking accidents—blisters, chaffing, sprains and minor burns, scrapes and cuts.
- 90-piece kit
- Ultra-lightweight Honeycomb ripstop nylon
- 6 organized zipper pockets
- Price: $41.99 <—click here to add to cart.
As far as headlamps go, there aren’t many others that have as many awesome features as the Petzl Nano. Using rechargeable or alkaline batteries, the Petzl Nano headlamp has a maximum brightness of a whopping 575 lumens. It is programmable but will also self-adjust to your surroundings. When entering a dark forest, cave or even just preparing dinner at sunset, the Petzl Nano will dim or brighten according to the ambient light available. Pretty cool, right? The Nano transitions easily and smoothly from long distance to up close. It weighs 6.7 ounces and is comfortable and well-balanced worn with the strap or on a helmet.
- 7-575 lumens
- Automatic reactive lighting
- Price: $194.88 <—click here to add to cart.
When it comes to multi-tools, you can’t beat a Leatherman. With how popular they are today, it is hard to imagine those knife companies turned Tim Leatherman’s multi-tool prototype away because they thought it was a tool and tool companies turned it away because they thought it was a gadget. Born out of necessity, a Leatherman is no toy or gadget. They are fully functioning knives and multi-tools. Once you have one, you’ll quickly realize it’s one of your most invaluable tools. The Leatherman Charge Plus is constructed of stainless steel and aluminum and has 19 tools, including wood/metal file, two knife blades, screwdriver, pliers, wire cutters, crimper, wire stripper, scissors, a saw, cutting hook, ruler and can and bottle openers.
- 19 tools
- One-handed opening
- Made in U.S.A.
- Price: $119.95 <—click here to add to cart.
We all know the importance of safe drinking water. We also all know how heavy water can be. It’s impossible to carry enough water on an extended hiking trip. A water filter is necessary. The LifeStraw water bottle filters water while you drink it. Simply fill it up and drink. It is more convenient than any other method. Utilizing an activated carbon filter, the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle removes nearly 100% of bacteria and protozoan, making unclean and contaminated water safe to drink. Made for hiking and overseas travel, the LifeStraw Go Bottle also works great for filtering tap water and provides safe drinking water during a natural disaster or emergency. Weighing 8 ounces, the bottle is constructed of BPA-free Triton and holds 23 ounces.
- 2-stage activated carbon filter
- Removes 99.9999% waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan
- 23-ounce, leak-proof BPA-free Tritan bottle with food-grade silicone mouthpiece
- Price: $27.44 <—click here to add to cart.
Nothing can replace good old-fashioned navigational skills…expect maybe this smartwatch from Suunto. Designed especially for hiking and trekking, it has extended GPS features and battery life. It displays the weather and even offers a storm alert—particularly useful for skiers and mountaineers. It includes a digital compass, GPS and GLONASS satellite systems, waypoints, points of interest, breadcrumb trail, route planning, track logging and sharing and an advanced altimeter. The Spartan Ultra hiking watch also includes fitness and training options. With up to a 26-hour battery life with GPS activated, any outdoor adventurer would appreciate this smartwatch.
- 80 sport modes
- 26-hour battery life
- GPS/GLONASS tracking and route navigation, real-time breadcrumb trail, route and POI
- Price: $419 <—click here to add to cart.
For Primitive Campers
Primitive camping is a style of camping which usually requires campers to walk-in with all their gear. Primitive campsites have no hook-ups, water or tables or fire rings. They are usually off the beaten path, private and first come/first serve. Though not as essential as a hiker’s needs, primitive campers still prefer lightweight and easy to carry gear—sometimes the car is miles away.
Though primitive camping isn’t as hardcore as hiking, you still must carry in a lot of gear to your campsite. That means gear needs to be lightweight, yet very functional. Even the most expensive hiking tent can be burdensome. Many are switching to hammocks, which provide a more comfortable night’s sleep and create less of a campsite footprint than tents. This one from 12 Survivors is every bit as good of quality as high-end ones with a lower price. Made of honeycomb ripstop nylon, the 12 Survivors Tree Nook hammock is extremely strong, yet lightweight and breathable. It holds up to 500 pounds and includes a stuff sack and hanging straps. It is 10 feet long, 6 feet wide and only weighs 17.5 ounces.
- Heavy-duty triple stitching
- Includes (2) 100% polyester daisy-chain hanging straps, carabiners and stuff sack
- Overall carry weight: 2 lbs. 2.4 oz.
- Price: $30.58 <—click here to add to cart.
The experts in lightweight camping and hiking stoves have made their fastest working camp stove yet. The JetBoil Flash boils 0.5 liters of water in a little over a minute. It has a 1-liter capacity and integrated measuring cup and bowl. The push-button ignition is easy to use, and the lid includes a strainer. A color-changing indicator visibly alerts you when water is about to boil. It weighs only 13.1 ounces.
- Weighs 1.1 pounds
- Thermochromatic, color-change heat indicator
- Boils water in 100 seconds
- Price: $99.95 <—click here to add to cart.
Yes, you will pay a premium price for Yeti products, but for anyone who has ever had the experience of using one knows the undeniable truth about how well they work. It is no different with this waterproof and airtight backpack. The 20-inch tall waterproof Yeti Panga backpack has cushy shoulder straps, removable waist belt and chest strap and a molded back panel for comfortable all-day wearing. The Hydrolok zipper, though tough, keeps everything inside bone dry. To stay organized there are a few pockets, as well as webbing outside the pack to attach additional gear.
- Ergonomic DryHaul shoulder straps, removable chest straps and waist belt
- Hydrolook zipper
- Puncture- and abrasion-resistant high-density nylon shell and thick TPU lamination
- Price: $299.99 <—click here to add to cart.
Having a lifeline to the outside world is important when in the wilderness in case of injury or if you get lost. Keeping a charged cell phone is the best way to stay in touch. Not only do you need to keep it charged without electricity, but you will also want to keep your other devices like digital camera, Go Pro and E-Reader charged as well. The ToughTested Bigfoot has 24,000 mAh worth of power and will provide 60 hours talk time or 50 hours of surfing. After about five hours of sun, the Bigfoot will fully charge your device. It is shockproof, impact-resistant and waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. Charging up to three devices, this solar panel power bank has an integrated LED flashlight and carabiner hook. Any outdoor enthusiast will love this solar power bank.
- 24,000 mAh, 12X the battery capacity of an iPhone 8. Over 60 hours of talk time and 50 hours of browsing
- 400mAh solar panel Rapid Charging Technology 4-5 hours of sun powers your devices back to life up to 1 full charge
- IP67 waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, shockproof and dustproof
- Price: $129.99 <—click here to add to cart.
Make it super special by personalizing this special edition survival-style knife! With a spring-assisted 3.5-inch partially serrated blade, this knife is engravable. It includes an integrated LED flashlight, fire starter and bottle opener—all the essential tools you need for a primitive campout! The X2 tactical pocket knife is constructed of 440 stainless steel and has a heavy-duty aluminum handle.
- 3.5″ partially serrated blade with spring-assisted opening, 8.5″ overall
- LED light, fire starter, bottle opener, seat belt cutter, glass breaker and pocket clip
- Price: $25.95 <—click here to add to cart.
For the Car Campers
The causal camper is most likely a car-camper. These are people who enjoy camping but also don’t want to sacrifice little luxuries like running water and even electricity. Campsites are usually equipped with a water spigot, fire rings, grills, picnic tables and other amenities. Car campers park their cars right at the campsite allowing them to pack more gear. They appreciate camping gear that is easy to set-up, comfortable and adds a little bit of extra fun to their experience.
This little contraption isn’t just a cute novelty, it actually works to not only diffuse and soften your phone’s flashlight but also provide a more balanced beam. Flexible and stretchy, it fits most phones and offers enough light to read or write without disturbing others. It also makes a great stocking stuff for the teenagers in your life.
- Weighs 1.6 ounces
- Soft, durable silicone
- Fits most small- to mid-sized smartphones
- Price: $17.57 <—click here to add to cart.
This is the ultimate champ chair. You could ask for more, but why would you? It has a padded seat, fold-out table with integrated shelves, a detachable insulated cooler for your drinks and snacks, multiple storage pockets and even loops on the back so you can attach an umbrella. Find the perfect spot next to the campfire and your set for the weekend! Holding up to 350 pounds, the Picnic Time Fusion camp chair is made with an aluminum frame and polyester canvas. It is well-made and weighs 12 pounds—perfect for when you don’t have to carry it too far. It is our favorite champ chair to take fishing.
- Comfy ribbed padded 19-1/2″ wide seat and backrest; holds up to 350 pounds
- Fold-out side table with expandable shelves will hold books, tablet, camera, and drinks
- Detachable insulated cooler and detachable armrest with folding backpack strap
- Price: $83.99 <—click here to add to cart.
Nothing beats real popcorn! Before the S’mores, bust out the Whirly Pop campfire popcorn popper. Easy to use and easy to clean, the Whirly Pop is made to put directly over a campfire. In just five minutes, you can pop 16 cups of popcorn. You can even use it over the stovetop, grill or fireplace. Everyone will have fun with the Whirly Pop.
- Makes 3 quarts
- Extending 18″ handle
- Lightweight aluminum
- Price: $19.99 <—click here to add to cart.
This is one of those genius products we wish we’d thought of. Space-saving and fun, the kids are going to love this portable bunk bed while you enjoy more space in the tent. This versatile unit converts from a sitting bench to bunk beds to two separate cots. Made of polyester and powder-coated steel, each cot will hold 200 pounds. Besides camping, the Disc-O-Bed is perfect for overnights, family visits, weekends, sleepovers, slumber parties, summer camps, retreats, sports travels and extended vacations. Each cot has its own organizer and is transportable together or separately.
- High-grade polyester sleeping deck provides a true contoured comfort
- Anti-rust, powder-coated steel frame; each cot has a weight tolerance of up to 200 lbs.
- No tool assembly; packed and stored in 2 bags
- Price: $269.99 <—click here to add to cart.
What is a moka coffee pot?
Invented by an Italian engineer, the moka espresso maker passes boiling water pressured by steam through coffee grounds to brew coffee. Coffee brewed through a moka-style coffee pot is usually stronger than drip coffee.
Who says you can’t have your Starbucks when camping? For those who prefer their coffee a little jacked up, this espresso maker brews Italian-style coffee right over your camp stove. The nCamp moka-style coffee pot is compact and easily transportable with its own nesting cup and fold-down handles. The process does take some time, but it is easy to operate and produces a great tasting cup of espresso without worry of coffee grinds. All you need is the pumpkin spice syrup and you’ll be the hit of the campground.
- Makes 12oz. (340mL) of coffee or 4 demitasse cups – about 3oz. (90mL) each
- Folding rubber-coated handles; nesting cup with a silicone wrap for grip and insulation
- Made of 304 stainless steel
- Price: $30 <—click here to add to cart.
For the RVer
Obviously the most expensive—especially initially—with the highest learning curve—RVing is a lifestyle many families and couples choose. You don’t have to give up anything you have at home except space and can experience as much, or as little, traditional “camping” as you wish. RVing is a year-long way to stay comfortable and have a lot of fun experiencing the outdoors. Most national parks have RV parking and hookups and even allow extended stays. Our gift guide for RVers includes recreational activities, decorations and fun cooking gadgets.
Get into the spirit by decorating your outdoor space with fun accessories like these camper lights. 120-volts with overload protection, this 8-foot strand features 10 vintage travel trailer lights. With four different colors—purple, yellow, blue, green and red, these cute string lights cast a warming glow around your RV’s awning. The company that makes them, Camco, conveniently makes clips designed specifically for hanging these party lights outside your RV.
- 120V with overload protection; UL approved for indoor and outdoor use
- 8′ strand contains 10 lights
- Includes two spare bulbs and a spare fuse
- Price: $21.50 <—click here to add to cart.
Like other modern conveniences at home, RVing affords you the luxury of not having to sacrifice or rough it, especially if you have this cool propane-powered pizza oven! While conserving on propane, the Camp Chef pizza oven heats up to a high temperature quickly and evenly bakes a near-perfect pizza with a great-tasting, crisp crust.
- Double layered ceiling enhances heating dynamics, bakes like a brick oven
- Preheat and ready to cook in 15 minutes
- Built-in valve ignition/micro-adjust valve and temperature gauge
- Price: $249.99 <—click here to add to cart.
This 12-piece cooker set comes with everything needed to cook over an open flame like a campfire or the fire pit:
- Square pie iron
- Round pie iron
- S’mores maker
- 8 Picnic forks
- Produces 26 lbs. of ice per day in a choice of 2 ice sizes
- Stores up to 1.5 lbs. of ice
- 2.3-quart reservoir with electronic LED controls
- Price: $99 <—click here to add to cart.
An inflatable kayak is great fun for the casual user. They are portable and lightweight, and storage isn’t an issue, especially if kayaking isn’t a regular thing for you. These one-person kayaks from Intex are durable, easy to paddle and surprisingly very stable. They are quick to inflate and includes an oar, repair kit and hand pump. For those who like to camp by the water and enjoy leisurely activities, the inflatable kayak is something every member of the family can enjoy—even the dog!
- Durable welded material; cargo net, grab line and inflatable seat with backrest
- Includes 84″ aluminum oar, repair patch and Hi-output manual hand pump
- Measures 30″ Wxx15″Hx108″D; 220 lbs. max capacity; 27.2 lbs.
- Price: $50 <—click here to add to cart.
For the Glamper
Glamour and camping combined…
Not really traditional camping at all, glamping is designed for those adverse to the outdoors but still want to appreciate nature a little. For those who like the finer things in life, glamping feels more like “roughing” it on a five-star resort in the woods, mountains, lake retreat or the beach. Yes, you’ll still sit around a campfire and eat S’mores but glampers expect gourmet foods and fine wine instead of hot dogs and hobo packs.
Originally dwellings of Central Asia nomads, yurts have become more popular in the West, especially for posh festival-goers and people whose idea of camping includes electricity and air conditioner. Traditionally, a yurt was made of a wooden circular frame covered with felt made from sheep. The yurt’s design offers protection and insulation in cold weather. This one from Dream House is constructed of cotton canvas and comes with a waterproof PV coating. The doors and windows have a mosquito screen, so you can have ventilation but also be protected from bugs. The double-stitched seams are taped for the best waterproofing. Our favorite features of this yurt-style bell tent are how tall the center is. You can change completely standing up. It has plenty of room and withstands weather and wind. Go ahead, yurt it up.
- Diameter 13.1′ (4m) bell tent; door height 59″, top height 98.4″, sidewall height 23.6″
- Integrated, heavy-duty PVC zippable groundsheet, mosquito screen, reinforced double stitching
- Windproof to 6-degrees or 30 miles per hour
- Price: $429 (13.1′) <—click here to add to cart.
Everyone misses hot showers when camping. Well, you don’t have to go without with Texsport’s solar shower and privacy tent kit. Mesh windows and top are strategically placed for complete privacy but allow ample ventilation. It is constructed of heavy-duty polyurethane-coated taffeta and a rust-resistant steel frame with a removable rip-stop polyethylene ground cover. It is big enough to also use as a changing room or bathroom with a portable camp toilet.
- 5-gallon solar shower; includes mesh shower rack and hanging towel bar outside
- Large, zippered D-style door with heavy-duty polyurethane coated taffeta walls, rainfly and removable rip-stop polyethylene floor
- Rust-resistant 3/4″ diameter chain-corded steel poles
- Price: $73.99 <—click here to add to cart.
There are many legitimate reasons why people choose air mattress when tent camping. Take to it to the next level with the Coleman comfort coil air bed with sturdy frame. It even has integrated side tables with cup holders! With the Coleman Airbed Cot, you have none of the issues that come with a standard air mattress—especially when sharing. This one won’t leak, deflate or disturb when movement occurs. The frame is incredibly sturdy, and the mattress stays put with the included sewn-in cover. The steel frame holds 600 pounds and the queen-sized mattress accommodates 6’ 2” and shorter. Inflate it to be firm or not so firm according to what you find comfortable with the included 4D pump. The frame keeps the mattress 22 inches off the ground for easy in and easy out. The total dimensions are 78x59x11 inches. With this bed, you’ll forget you’re sleeping in a tent. Or in this case…a yurt.
- Mattress features ComfortStrong coil construction for support and comfort
- Sturdy steel supports up to 600 lbs.; accommodates most people up to 6′ 2″
- Includes a 4D battery-operated pump and 2 side tables with cup holders
- Price: $119 <—click here to add to cart.
These Merino wool blend socks have a special pocket made just for Heat Factory chemical feet warmers. Providing six hours of heat, the Heat Factory disposable warmer for your feet are specifically designed to fit the tight space in your shoes or boots. Heat Factory is the oldest and most trusted name in chemical warmers. They really work and last as long as they say they will. If forced to camp in the cold, pack these socks with heaters and have no problems hanging out by the fire.
- Integrated pockets over toes hold heat warmers that last up to six hours each
- 2 warmers included
- Merino wool blend: 71% acrylic, 12% Merino Wool, 15% nylon, 1% rubber, and 1% other
- Price: $21.10 <—click here to add to cart.
If there’s such a thing as an “in” glamping accessory, the iconic Pendleton National Park series of wool blankets is IT for 2018. Constructed of 100% virgin wool in the United States, the Pendleton blanket is not only super warm but also made for heavy-duty use. These blankets pay homage to our country’s national parks and come in a variety of bright, stead-fast colors. The non-scratchy, comfortable blankets have been made in Pendleton’s Oregon mills since the 1900s. As one of America’s original heritage brands, Pendleton donates part of the proceeds from sales of their National Park series blankets to the National Park Foundation. Beautifully and thoughtfully crafted, these soft durable blankets are also great for snuggling up at home.
- Queen is 90″ x 90″
- 100% pure virgin wool
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Price: $279 <—click here to add to cart.